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Interview with Becki Newton and Zachary
Knighton of "Weird Loners" on
I really enjoyed the show when I saw the first three
episodes, so I was delighted to speak with the two stars. I
loved Becki in "Ugly Betty", and Knighton is just fabulous
on this show. The two of them have amazing chemistry. It was
a great call and they were very nice.
FBC PUBLICITY: Weird Loners Conference Call
March 24, 2015/10:00 a.m. PDT
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Weird Loners Conference Call. At this time
all participants are in a listen-only mode, and later we
will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions
will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a
reminder, this conference is being recorded.
And I would now like to turn the call over to your host,
Michael Roach. Please go ahead.
Michael: Thanks, everyone, for joining us today on this
conference call with Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton on
behalf of the series premiere of the new comedy series,
Weird Loners. Itís about four relationship-challenged mid
30-somethings who are unexpectedly thrust into one anotherís
lives, forming unlikely bonds in a Queens, New York
townhouse. The series comes from us from producers of Fresh
off the Boat, New Girl and The King of Queens, and it
premieres Tuesday, March 31st at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX.
Thatís about it from me, and Karen, weíre ready to begin the
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) And our first question
comes from the line of Jamie Ruby. Please go ahead, your
line is open.
Jamie: Hey, guys. Thanks so much for doing the call today. I
saw the first few episodes. Iím really enjoying it so far.
Zach: Thank you.
Becki: Good to know. I like it.
Jamie: So the four of you seem like you have a lot of fun on
set filming this. Can you talk about kind of your
relationship off set and also during filming, kind of just
how that is?
Becki: Well I think what works so well, and you can see right
away from the very first episode, we all started, and there
was a very easy chemistry between us as though weíve all
been working together a very long time. And I know thatís,
that it made filming so much more fun and so much easier,
and we were able to really play around from day one. If
there wasnít a learning curve, that Iíve had in the past
where you sort of get to know each other and become more
comfortable, we all arrived pretty ready to go.
Zach: Becki, are you eating a bagel?
Becki: Iím not eating a bagel. Itís actually a frittata. Can
you hear me eating because thatís disgusting.
Zach: No, but I know youíre hiding it and I applaud the
hiding of the eating, but also itís making me hungryó
Becki: Itís not hiding if you could hear me. Iím so sorry.
Zach: I canít hear you eating. I can just hear you hiding
your eating, so donít worry. Keep going.
Becki: Iím just gonna eat louder then so I donít even have to
Zach: Yes, we love each other. Do you want me to expand on
that? Like those guys are so funny and everybody comes from
a television background. I think weíre all kind of pros. I
guess Meera is like the newcomer, but it doesnít feel like
it. She feels like the coolest customer of all of us butó
Becki: She feels like sheís been working for 50 years in TV
and yet it was her first TV job. So you had sort of three of
us who have been around the block a million times and then
Meera who was just absolutely incredible. It all felt really
easy from day one. Back to my bagel.
Jamie: All right, and then as a follow-up. Is there something
maybe coming up that you can tease about that youíre looking
forward to for fans to see?
Becki: For me, thereís a scene, I believe, Zach, is it
Episode 2 where we go down to Florida and you show up at
Becki: That was a particularly interesting sceneóit was a
cool shot. There was a really neat shot when Zach and I, or
our characters had their first, I think, real moment of
connection. And Jake Kasdan, who I believe directed that
episode, did something really cool with the cameras and
slowed everything down and I think it started what continued
to be a really cool style for this show. These sort of
Zach: They shot it with the [indiscernible] style of the show
thatís really cool. Like some of the shots are a little bit
off, a little awkward, a little tilted, and then this
particular scene without really spoiling it, itís sort of a
dance. My character takes Beckiís character and starts
dancing with her because heís pretending that he is Carynís
fiancť, so this old lady in the nursing home feels
comfortable that her granddaughteró
Becki: The old ladyís name is Nana. Thank you very much.
Zach: Yes, Nana. Okay fine.
Becki: Right, Nana.
Zach: So, the lights dim. It sort of becomes a fantasy
sequence, and itís really beautiful. We did it all
practical; it wasnít something that was just done in
[indiscernible]. So we shot it with these lights changing
and it made the episode, and I think it really sets a really
nice tone for the show, and we sort of explored that some
more. Hopefully, if we get a Season 2, weíll do even more
Jamie: Okay, great, that was a cute scene. Thank you so much
both of you.
Zach: Thank you.
Jamie: Bye, bye.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question comes
from the line of Suzanne Lanoue. Please go ahead.
Suzanne: Hi, good morning.
Zach: Good morning.
Becki: Good morning.
Suzanne: I watched three episodes this morning. I really
enjoyed them a lot.
Becki: Oh great.
Zach: Thank you so much.
Becki: Thatís a great start.
Suzanne: Yes, and Iím very picky about comedy and always
watch with trepidation and go oh, is this going to be funny,
and it really had me laughing.
Becki: Oh great. Thatís great.
Suzanne: I was wondering if you guys, you said you had this
natural sort of just feeling on the set. Did the four of you
do anything to try to bond more for the show, to try to get
that sort of feeling after you started shooting oró?
Becki: For me, I think what was so great is we didnít need to
force anything. Like I said, we showed up and from the
minute we started there was an ease. We didnít have to work
any harder to create that chemistry. I think itís one of
those things that itís either there or itís not. I know also
with Zach, our characters have a lot of chemistry and thatís
something that, in my experience, itís either there or itís
not, and it was so there with Zach.
Becki: Iíll speak for myself, I donít want to speak for Zach,
but I just thought it was this really comfortable, really
easy, and therefore, very charming and believable.
Zach: And I think itís probably a testament to my performance
Becki: It is.
Zach: Because I donít believe I have any chemistry with Becki.
Just kidding, I have great chemistry with Becki and Nate and
Meera, and you know, Becki has a couple of kids at home so
sheís a very good mom. Sheís always at home. Believe it or
not, we actually, the rest of us would go out and have a
couple of drinks every now and again. We try to get Newton
to come with us, but usually [indiscernible]ó
Becki: I am, I do have a double life. Thatís true. But this
is the first Iíve heard of these so-called drinks with the
rest of the cast. Apparently, I wasnít invited.
Zach: Youíre always invited. Can weóput us on mute. Just
Suzanne: So just as a follow-up. I noticed that you guys are
both really good looking, but in the show they kind of ugly
you up a little bit to like, so that youíre funny and
everything. Do they tell you these things before they do
them, or are they just like okay come here, weíre going to
mess up your hair or whatever?
Zach: First of all, I think that they tried to make me better
looking so now Iím a little bit confused aboutó
Becki: I think the truth is we were very aware that these
characters werenít the typical ones you see on TV. So
Michael, our creator, really wanted them to look as
imperfect as their characters were. It wouldnít make sense
for these people to struggle so much in life, but have
perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect clothes. So I
think our creator rightfully really wanted these, the way
these characters looked to reflect their situations in life.
Suzanne: Thank you. Good luck.
Zach: Thank you so much.
Becki: Thank you.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question comes
from the line of Steve Owens. Please go ahead.
Steve: Yes, the question I have is for both of you guys. Was
it a straight offer or did you have to go through the long
process of the network test and being in front of 40 people,
picking and choosing at you?
Zach: Straight offer, Steve, straight offer.
Becki: Straight offer. I think weíre both very fortunate to
have been chose in the past that have been really great
platforms, and hopefully our work has spoken for itself
enough and we have been ableó
Zach: Steve, how could a hundredóhow could nine other series
be wrong? Nine other canceled series be wrong?
Zach: [Indiscernible] a straight offer.
Steve: Well, look at it this way. With nine canceled series,
at least your dollar quote goes up.
Zach: Oh, definitely.
Zach: Thanks, Steve.
Steve: And one other question. This one is for Becki, is that
how was the transition moving from Philadelphia or
Connecticut to Los Angeles?
Becki: Mostly the driving was the issue. I didnít get behind
the wheel for 3 years when I moved to LA because I was so
terrified. I had gone to the university in Philadelphia then
moved to New York, so for 10 years I didnít drive and I was
suddenly on the 405 and after 3 years of getting rides from
my friends and my husband, I decided to get behind the wheel
one day. Iím a late bloomer in many ways, and driving is
another part of that. I just couldnít do it, I was
Steve: Well, officially welcome to LA.
Becki: Thank you.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We have a question from
the line of Jamie Ruby. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
Jamie: Hi again.
Jamie: So, Iím curious. Is there anything, like any lines or
anything that you guys improvíd. I donít know how kind of
strict they are with the script in the show, butó.
Becki: Iím sure thatóitís funny, they werenító
Zach: You know it was all pretty much on the page.
Becki: Yes. I know that they were obviouslyó
Zach: I mean everybodyó
Becki: Iím sorry, go ahead Zach.
Zach: No, you go, you go.
Becki: I think obviously Michael, Jake and everyone was open
improving but it really was all there on the page. I think
Michael had a very specific vision of who these characters
were and what they would say, and we really wanted to honor
that and we stuck pretty close to it. Anytime that funny
things were going on, obviously they would keep the camera
rolling, but I would say in comparison to other shows, this
one stuck closer to the word.
Jamie: Great. And then, for both of you, whatís your favorite
part about your character?
Zach: I would say, for me Stosh, heís kind of a despicable
guy. Heís kind of, you know heís not a very nice person all
the time to the people around him. Heís kind of a user and I
like exploring that darker side of myself for comedy sake,
because I get to do kind of despicable things and not really
have to pay the consequences. Thatís kind of my favorite
thing about this particular character.
Becki: For me, I love Carynís optimism in the face of logic.
She, and I have a little bit of this in me, where she just
goes all in to everything including her relationship and
doesnít really look at the facts and often gets herself into
trouble and no matter what, she doesnít really learn any
lessons and just stays supremely optimistic/really obtuse
and I like that. I like people that donít really learn their
lessons but keep on going anyway.
Jamie: All right. Thank you so much.
Zach: Thank you.
Jamie: Thank you.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) And we do have a question
from Lance Carter. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Lance: Hey, guys. Nice talking to you.
Zach: Hey, how are you?
Becki: Hi, Lance.
Lance: Well, so I have an acting website, itís called Daily
Actors and I always like to ask this question. What were the
very first professional jobs that you guys had?
Becki: I was paid to be Barney the dinosaur at childrenís
birthday parties and I got paid $25 per party, and after a
summer of wearing this costume in 90 degree heat I was fired
because apparently I wasnít committed enough to the
Zach: Wow. That explains so much about you.
Becki: It really does. Again optimism is the key word here.
Zach: My first job was this first movie called Cherry Falls
about a murderer who kills virgins, and Jane Moore was the
killer and Brittany Murphy was the lead in the movie. And I
was cast only off my headshot because they were looking for
someone to play Michael Bean in a flashback rape scene, and
I was cast because I supposedly looked like young Michael
Bean. There were no lines and I showed up to set to shoot my
very first movie. I was super excited, I couldnít believe
it, and when I got there, I went through makeup and hair and
then this producer knocked on my door and he said, ďIím so
sorry, thereís been a really big mistake. The names were
switched with the headshots, we actually wanted to cast this
other guy.Ē And the other person that they cast, the person
they really casted was my roommate, and so I was fired from
this job before I even did it.
Iím driving home and my roommate calls me and he says, ďOh
my God, you wouldnít believe it. Dude, I got cast in Cherry
Falls, too.Ē And I just said, ďDude, no you got my job.Ē I
went home, I was heartbroken.
And they called me that night at 2 a.m. when they wrapped
and they said everybody feels so terrible about what
happened that we actually created a character for you in
this movie. And they gave me a part, which turned out to be
way better where I play a guy who comes into the police
station like a crazy guy. I think my character was named Mr.
Rolly, and he comes into the police station claiming to be
the serial killer. So I have this whole scene where Iím like
improvising crazy mad, jumping on the counter of this police
station claiming to be this killer. So it actually turned
out to be a much better part.
Becki: This story gets way better as it goes on.
Zach: And my buddy in the movie is black and white.
Lance: Thatís the greatest story Iíve heard. Wow, nice.
Becki: Yes, thatís great.
Zach: Yes, it worked out pretty good. Not so well for my
buddy, Iíll tell you that right now.
Lance: Thanks, guys.
Zach: Thank you, man.
Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Amanda
Festa. Please go ahead.
Amanda Hi, I loved the first three episodes. I thought they
were so funny and great.
Zach: Well, thank you.
Becki: Thank you.
Amanda: Youíre welcome. My question is more general about the
show. I watched the first three episodes and I saw a lot of
kind of comparisons to Happy Endings and [indiscernible],
which are two other very funny, amazing shows. And I was
wondering what do you think sets Weird Loners apart from
other shows about 30-something singles?
Zach: You know, I would say that in a weird way these people
are just not very likable. I mean theyíre kind of pathetic
in their own ways, and you know, I think thatís something
funny to explore in television. You know, I donít know if
youíre really rooting for these guys or not. I mean Iíve
only seen a couple of episodes myself and you know, to me
itís funny to not really root for a character. So thatís
kind of where I sit with it, in terms of what makes it kind
Becki: Yes, I think you watch it and youíre cringing while
you watch it. Maybe in the past, characters on TV were more
aspirational [ph], you watched it and hoped you could be
like them or looked like them, or act like them. In this
case, you absolutely do not want to be like any of these
people but it might be fun to watch them because you sort of
canít believe their behavior.
Amanda: Thatís great. And just a follow-up question. So,
Stosh and Caryn are obviously dancing around a hook up and
going off what you guys were just saying, do you think
theyíre good for each other or is it kind of what you were
saying where maybe not?
Becki: I think whatís great is in other shows [indiscernible]
will they or wonít they, and this particular show it
probably will and who cares.
Amanda: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Zach: Thank you.
Moderator: And we have one more question from the line of
Steve Owens. Please go ahead.
Steve: Yes, the question is, is how close are the characters
to you guys in real life?
Becki: For me, thereís certain similarities. Like Iíve said
in the past, unwavering optimism in the face of logic. When
I do something, Iím in 100%. I happen to be a married mother
of two, so in that respect my life is very different than
Carynís life, but our attitudes about many things are
similar. Like I said unwavering optimism.
Zach: I would say Iím completely the opposite of my
character. I probably have those kind of a*** personality
traits but Iíve suppressed them for a long time and theyíve
sort of disappeared but itís fun to bring them to the
surface and explore that and not have to pay the
consequences, like I was saying earlier. But, yes, no Iím
kind of the opposite. I feel like Iím not as concerned about
running scams as Stosh is, but itís so much fun to play that
and for me it was just a great little exploration.
Steve: Perfect. Thank you very much.
Zach: Thank you, Steve.
Michael: Well, great, thanks, everyoneó Oh excuse me.
Moderator: Thank you, everyone. Iíll turn it back to Michael.
Michael: Great. Thanks for joining us today on this
conference call for the series premiere of Weird Loners. And
just a reminder the series premieres Tuesday, March 31st at
9:30/8:30 Central on FOX. Thanks, Becki and Zach.
Becki: Thank you. Bye, guys!
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the
conference call for today. Thank you for your participation
and for using AT&T TeleConference Services. You may now
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